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Video Debate about Outsourcing and "Patriotism"


CSpec

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Landsburg's rhetoric is most effective at the end, where he demonstrates that cheap foreign labor may displace some Americans temporarily, but on average it makes the whole population better off. For those who argue that we need to "save" American jobs because there is some nationalist need to do so, I point you to the steel tariffs of the 1980s. Studies showed that for every steel worker "saved", three other Americans lost their job, and steel was very expensive for no good reason.

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This ignores the fact that we're losing our tangible manufacturing base. His comparison to racism is specious as best especially as he literally beats it into you and, guess what, I still have a huge problem with concerns like EADS trying to legally contest Boeing's sweetheart American defense contracts when they're completely government-subsidized themselves.

Want fair trade? Play fair across the board. And, Christ, stop paralleling everything to racism.

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This ignores the fact that we're losing our tangible manufacturing base. His comparison to racism is specious as best especially as he literally beats it into you and, guess what, I still have a huge problem with concerns like EADS trying to legally contest Boeing's sweetheart American defense contracts when they're completely government-subsidized themselves.

Want fair trade? Play fair across the board. And, Christ, stop paralleling everything to racism.

Well said.

Edited by Dodgefan
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Correct me if I'm wrong. But its better to support foreign auto manufactures because their cheaper, and if hundreds of thousands of Americans lose their jobs its no big deal, because those thousands of jobs will be handed over to a worker overseas for Toyota or something. How does this benefit us, besides having a cheaper car? Well that is until all of our companies go out of business and we become a third world country and cant afford their cheap cars.

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Landsburg's comparison of nationalism being like racism is laughably weak. Of course Americans should support workers in Detroit vs. those in Juarez...race has nothing to do with it. Manufacturing of goods is a key element to developing and maintaining an economy as well as maintaining national security. The US can't survive solely on a service-based economy.

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He's not saying it IS racist, he's saying it's a lot LIKE racism. You are saying a factory in Texas is better than one just south of the border because it was built on American soil, but the same type of reasoning can be used to say that someone is better because they share your race. He's saying they are ignorant in the same way. What happened to the textile industry? Electronics? They went overseas long ago--the country has not descended into chaos, but just the opposite: production moved because costs were lower, meaning more abundant and cheaper goods for all.

Think of it another way: what if those industries were magically brought back to the US? Sure, some Americans would be thrilled, because they might get a job there. And a lot of other people might like it as well, because their countrymen are happier. But these feelings would be fleeting, because as soon as they walk into the store they find all their clothes cost twice as much! This is exactly the opposite of the situation we are discussing: forcing people to overpay for goods because they are American benefits some and hurts everyone else, while cheap imports hurt some and make everyone else richer.

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He's not saying it IS racist, he's saying it's a lot LIKE racism. You are saying a factory in Texas is better than one just south of the border because it was built on American soil, but the same type of reasoning can be used to say that someone is better because they share your race. He's saying they are ignorant in the same way.

Still incorrect. When arguing a factory in Texas is 'better' than one in Mexico, 'better' can be defined and quanitified as having a more experienced workforce, a better-paid workforce, a more environmentally-friendly facility, etc. in addition to the fact that its 'better' for the local American economy around that domestic factory. Interpreting 'better' as an indicator of quality in many cases is right. No doubt an automobile factory in Japan is on the average 'better' than one in Malaysia. The quality of service you get from an American phone bank is 'better' than you get from one in India. An aircraft manufactured in the United States is 'better' than one built wholly in China. These are simple, measurable, quantifiable facts.

My disagreement here is his tacit disregard of what racism really is. Racism is based on irrational fear or hatred of a race that one does not understand. There is a big difference between me hating Sinbad because he's black and he hating Sinbad because he's so goddamn unfunny. Likewise, there's a big difference between logically stating Factory X would be 'better [for Americans, etc.]' if it were in America and racism and his whoring out of the 'racism' analogy only weakens an otherwise arguable contention. I swear that 'racism' is the professional speakers' 'your mom' these days...

What happened to the textile industry? Electronics? They went overseas long ago--the country has not descended into chaos, but just the opposite: production moved because costs were lower, meaning more abundant and cheaper goods for all.

Point taken, though you're largely talking about industries on which a nation does not depend. Textiles and television sets are consumer goods. Automobiles, aircraft, ships, and cutting-edge computer systems are all capital goods that are heavy in the literal or figurative sense and vital to our nation. We don't need TVs or electric blankets to win a war; but we do need automobile manufacturing plants, munitions plants, aircraft plants, and shipyards. We only have two major shipyards left in this country capable of launching capital ships, both on the East Coast. We only have but a handful of major aerospace firms, too. I understand much of this is the natural result of capitalism and business consolidation, but you now have a case where the European Union is lodging formal protests with the WTO on behalf of EADS (a fully-subsidized European producer of junk airframes) because Boeing gets US government contracts. Again, instances like that are why many are against free, unfettered trade and for good reason. EADS is on an active campaign to cripple the largest (and one of the three remaining) American aircraft manufacturers.

Think about what happens if we ever need to mobilize our industry again and we don't have full cooperation of certain governments. Seizing Japanese and German automobile factories will go over real well. And we're almost getting to the point where there isn't even that much to seize.

Again, this is where my concern lies. I don't like the idea of a world community, of one huge global economy operating without borders or regional constraints because not everyone has that same idealistic, cooperative view as this country does. Hell, not even all of the Western world is that gracious.

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Still incorrect. When arguing a factory in Texas is 'better' than one in Mexico, 'better' can be defined and quanitified as having a more experienced workforce, a better-paid workforce, a more environmentally-friendly facility, etc. in addition to the fact that its 'better' for the local American economy around that domestic factory. Interpreting 'better' as an indicator of quality in many cases is right. No doubt an automobile factory in Japan is on the average 'better' than one in Malaysia. The quality of service you get from an American phone bank is 'better' than you get from one in India. An aircraft manufactured in the United States is 'better' than one built wholly in China. These are simple, measurable, quantifiable facts.

There's proof to this statement as exampled by the early Ford Focus' which were built at the Hermosillo Plant. They had quality problems that Focus' elsewhere didn't have.

Another really good statement Fly.

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I'll only buy vehicles from American manufacturers and that makes me a lot like a racist?

:huh:

I guess I should start acting the part then. I'll put on a blue collar and burn Toyotas in front of their factories.

Hopefully no one takes that crap he said too much to heart because it can potentially cause some major problems in this country.

Edited by AxelTheRed
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